Member of a large budget conscious family, Dolores shares tips on how to save money on home projects, cooking, and home haircuts.
Blueberries are not only delicious but good for you too! Of the 60 fruits tested at Tuft's University, blueberries came out highest in antioxidants. Researchers in other studies found that blueberries may reduce the effects of Alzheimer's and dementia. One study showed that blueberries have the capacity to improve cognition and motor skills in aging animals.
Blueberries also contain a flavonoid called kaempferol. Studies have shown that women with a diet high in kaempferol had a 40% reduction in the rate of ovarian cancer.
Blueberries can relieve both diarrhea and constipation and reduce inflammation of the digestive system. Blueberries are as effective as cranberries in the prevention of uninary tract infections.
Pick Fresh Blueberries for Maximum Flavor
Blueberries grow in clusters on shrubs and can range from pea sized to marble sized. They are a native American plant that can be either sweet or tart. Blueberries are are blue to purple black with whitish shading and tiny seeds. Choose the berries that are firm and deeply colored.
Store bought blueberries can't hold a candle to fresh picked fruits. If you can, locate your nearest you-pick-em farm and pick your own. If you do, you will be spoiled forever. The farm I visit also grows blackberries and peaches. Once you eat any fruit that has just been picked, all else will pale in comparison.
If you are unable to pick your own, find local fruits. Local usually means that the fruit was picked within one day's drive. The closer the berries were grown, the tastier they will be.
When you get your blueberries home, rinse them in a colander, and spread them out to dry on a towel. The farm I visit used no chemical sprays so I don't rinse them off. Eat the blueberries as they are or add them to recipes.
Blueberries freeze well. Spread them out, uncovered, on a cookie sheet to freeze, then place the frozen berries in a zip lock bag. Be careful not to overload the bag, You want to store them flat. I saved tons of blueberries in the freezer for my favorite pies and other recipes but they didn't last long in the freezer either. My kids used to eat the frozen blueberries like candy.
Blueberry jam is good but blueberry marmalade is absolutely heavenly. I make several batches in order to give them as hostess gifts and Christmas gifts. People request blueberry marmalade every year.
Before you make the blueberry marmalade, wash and sterilize jars and lids. Place the lids in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Fill the clean jars with boiling water and keep the water hot.
This recipe makes about 6 1/2 pints
3/4 Cups of Water
3 Cups Crushed Blueberries
5 Cups of Sugar
6 ounces of liquid fruit pectin
1/2 to 1 Teaspoon margarine or butter (to reduce foaming)
- Remove the peel from 1 medium orange and 1 lemon.
- Scrape excess white from the peel
- Cut the peel of both lemon and orange into fine shreds
- Place in a large saucepan with 3/4 cup of water. Boil then reduce heat to simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally
- Remove the white membrane from the orange and lemon. Chop
- Add the chopped orange and lemon to the simmering peels and water along with 3 cups of crushed blueberries. (Don't get carried away with crushing the blueberries. Some intact berries make the marmalade more interesting) Cover and simmer for 12 minutes
- Add 5 Cups of sugar.
- Add margarine or butter.
- Boil hard for 1 minute while stirring continuously. Remove from heat.
- Skim off any foam. If you added the margarine or butter, you probably won't have much foam
- Stir in liquid pectin.
- Quickly dry jars and lids. Pour the hot blueberry mixture into the jars, leaving 1/4 of an inch space below the rim of the jar. Screw on the lids.
- If you have more blueberry marmalade than will fit into your jars, just pour some into a glass or cup and refrigerate.
- Place the jars, still hot, into a hot water bath. Fill a large pot with water. Place a round, metal cookie rack on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Using tongs, place the jars in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. Using tongs again, remove the jars and allow to cool. You can make sure the lids are sealed by pressing in the center of the top. If the top does not depress, the lids are sealed. You can often hear the lids sealing, they make a popping sound.
Store in a cool, dark, dry place.
How to Can Without a Canner
Blueberry Yeast Cake
Blueberry Yeast Cake
I sometimes make Make Ahead Spoon Rolls, a dough that you can refrigerate for a week. This dough uses yeast but does not have to be kneaded so it's great for when you suddenly want to cook up some rolls or use to make this delicious blueberry dessert.
Make Ahead Spoon Rolls
I package of dry yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 Teaspoon Sugar
2 Cups Lukewarm Water
4 Cups of Flour
4 Teaspoons Baking Powder
!/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Stick of Butter of Margerine
1 Egg, Beaten
- Combine the yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 2 Cups of lukewarm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Stir the rest in until blended. Cover and let rise til double or place, covered in the refrigerator. Refrigerate up to a week. (Grease muffin tin and place spoons of dough in. Cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes.)
- To make the blueberry yeast cake, grease an 8 inch square pan. Spread some of the dough on the pan. Cover the top with blueberries or add blackberries as well. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Smear a little jam on top. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use some or all of the dough; you can make a small amount or enough for a crowd.
Blueberry Roly Poly
Blueberry Roly Poly
Here's an old fashioned blueberry dessert that's a lot of trouble and a big mess but well worth it - absolutely fabulous! If you want to be a bit lazy, you can substitute a biscuit mix for homemade.
Blueberry Roly Poly
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
1 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoons Grated Lemon Rind
Baking Powder Biscuit Dough (use 3 cups of flour)
2 Cups blackberries
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
- Boil 1st 5 ingredients for 10 minutes.
- Pour in 12 X 8 (or large) Baking Dish
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Roll biscuit dough into 12 X 18 rectangle.
- Cover dough with fruit to within 1/2 inch of edge
- Sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll up, from long side, like jelly roll.
- Cut 1 1/2 inch crosswise slices and lay flat in baking dish
Bake in oven for 25 - 35 minutes.
Serve with cream or lemon sauce
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 Cups Boiling Water
1/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
2 Tablespoons Grated or Thinly Sliced Lemon Rind
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- Combine 1st 3 ingredients in saucepan.
- Slowly add boiling water, stir continuously to avoid lumps. simmer, while stirring, about 5 minutes or until clear and thickened.
- Remove. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Blueberry Almond Shortbread Squares
1 1/4 Stick butter, softened
1 3/4 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Chopped Nuts
1.2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons 10X Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract
4 Cups Blueberries (or Blackberries)
Fresh Grated Zest of Orange or Lemon
- Butter and dust 9 X 13 inch pan.
- Toast nuts (you can substitute pecans or walnuts) till golden - 15 minutes
- Whisk flour, nuts, cinnamon, and salt
- Beat 3/4 Cup 10X sugar and butter, cream until light and fluffy. Add extract
- Add flour in 2 batches
- Mix until crumbly
- Press most of the dough in pan
- Toss blueberries with zest and scatter over dough
- Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Crumble reserved dough on top.
Bake until edges are golden, about 30 minutes. Cool. Cut
Now this recipe is one that I never measure, but wing it using frozen blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.
Into a blender, toss about 2 cups of frozen berries, a container of yogurt (lemon or vanilla work well), and a splash of cranberry juice. Blend until liquified. The thick, delicious smoothie is full of all kinds of nutrients, and is a refreshing pick-me-up in the middle of the day, a wonderful breakfast, or a fun dessert.
State to State - Where to Pick Blueberries
© 2009 Dolores Monet